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Dissolution of the Soviet Union

The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the process of internal disintegration within the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics referred to as the Soviet Union, which began in the second half of the 1980s with growing unrest in the national republics and ended on 26 December 1991, when the USSR itself was voted out of existence by the Supreme Soviet, following the Belavezha Accords. Declaration number 142-Н by the Supreme Soviet resulted in self-governing independence to the Republics of the USSR, formally dissolving the USSR; the declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States, although five of the signatories ratified it much or did not do so at all. On the previous day, 25 December 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev–the eighth and final leader of the USSR–resigned, declared his office extinct and handed over its powers—including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes—to Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

That evening at 7:32 p.m. the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag. From August to December, all the individual republics, including Russia itself, had either seceded from the union or at the least denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR; the week before formal dissolution, eleven republics signed the Alma-Ata Protocol formally establishing the CIS and declaring that the USSR had ceased to exist. Both the Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the USSR marked the end of the Cold War. Several of the former Soviet republics have retained close links with the Russian Federation and formed multilateral organizations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian Economic Community, the Union State, the Eurasian Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union to enhance economic and security cooperation. On the other hand, the Baltic states have joined the European Union. Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary by the Politburo on March 11, 1985, three hours after predecessor Konstantin Chernenko's death at age 73.

Gorbachev, aged 54, was the youngest member of the Politburo. His initial goal as general secretary was to revive the Soviet economy, he realized that doing so would require reforming underlying political and social structures; the reforms began with personnel changes of senior Brezhnev-era officials who would impede political and economic change. On April 23, 1985, Gorbachev brought two protégés, Yegor Ligachev and Nikolai Ryzhkov, into the Politburo as full members, he kept the "power" ministries happy by promoting KGB Head Viktor Chebrikov from candidate to full member and appointing Minister of Defence Marshal Sergei Sokolov as a Politburo candidate. This liberalization, fostered nationalist movements and ethnic disputes within the Soviet Union, it led indirectly to the revolutions of 1989, in which Soviet-imposed socialist regimes of the Warsaw Pact were toppled peacefully, which in turn increased pressure on Gorbachev to introduce greater democracy and autonomy for the Soviet Union's constituent republics.

Under Gorbachev's leadership, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1989 introduced limited competitive elections to a new central legislature, the Congress of People's Deputies. In May 1985, Gorbachev delivered a speech in Leningrad advocating reforms and an anti-alcohol campaign to tackle widespread alcoholism. Prices of vodka and beer were raised, intended to discourage drinking by increasing the cost of liquor. A rationing program was introduced, where citizens were assigned punch cards detailing how much liquor they could buy in a certain time frame. Unlike most forms of rationing, adopted as a strategy to conserve scarce goods, this was done to restrict sales with the overt goal of curtailing drunkenness. Gorbachev's plan included billboards promoting sobriety, increased penalties for public drunkenness, censorship of drinking scenes from old movies; this mirrored Tsar Nicholas II's program during the First World War, intended to eradicate drunkenness in order to bolster the war effort.

However, that earlier effort was intended to preserve grain for only the most essential purposes, which did not appear to be a goal in Gorbachev's program. Gorbachev soon faced the same adverse economic reaction to his prohibition; the disincentivization of alcohol consumption was a serious blow to the state budget according to Alexander Yakovlev, who noted annual collections of alcohol taxes decreased by 100 billion rubles. Alcohol sales migrated to the black market and moonshining became more prevalent as some made "bathtub vodka" with homegrown potatoes. Poorer, less educated Soviets resorted to drinking unhealthy substitutes such as nail-polish remover, rubbing alcohol, or men's cologne, resulting in an additional burden on Russia's healthcare sector due to the increased poisoning cases; the underlying purpose of these reforms was to prop up the existing command economy, in contrast to reforms, which tended toward market socialism. On July 1, 1985, Gorbachev promoted Eduard Shevardnadze, First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party, to full member of the Politburo, the following day appointed him minister of foreign affairs, replacing longtime Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko.

The latter, disparaged as "Mr Nyet" in the West, had served for 28 years as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Gromyko was relegated to the ceremonial position of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, as he was considered an "old thinker". On July 1, Gorbachev sidelined h

Bidyanus bidyanus

The silver perch is a medium-sized freshwater fish of the family Terapontidae endemic to the Murray-Darling river system in south-eastern Australia. The silver perch's scientific name comes from an aboriginal name for the species – bidyan – recorded by Major Mitchell on the Barwon River on his 1832 expedition. Silver perch are not a "true" perch of the genus Perca, but are instead a member of Terapontidae or'grunter' family, they are the largest member of the Terapontidae, capable of growing in excess of 60 cm and close to 8 kg, but today wild river specimens are 30–40 cm and 1.0–1.5 kg. The silver perch is the only major representative of the family Terapontidae in the southern Murray-Darling system, compared to northern tropical systems where terapontid species are common. Another small terapontid, the spangled perch, does occur sporadically in the northern Murray-Darling Basin. Common names for Bidyanus bidyanus include silver perch, black or silver bream and the traditional bidyan; the silver perch is a large grunter with a small head, small eyes, a small mouth at the end of a pointed'beak-like' snout.

The species is streamlined and laterally compressed, with a spiny dorsal fin of medium height, angular soft dorsal and anal fins and a forked tail. Large specimens become deep bodied with a large hump behind the head. In terms of colouration, they are dark grey to silvery greyish-brown on the back, silver-grey on the sides, with darker scale margins giving a checkered pattern. Silver perch are omnivorous, feeding on insect larvae, annelid worms and algae; the importance of vegetative matter in the diet of silver perch is still debated. Silver perch appear to be a low-order predator of small aquatic invertebrate prey, with occasional intakes of small fish and vegetative matter. In aquaria, silver perch are reported to take blood worms readily. Silver perch are schooling mid-water fish with a preference for flowing water. Though nowadays found in the lowland reaches of the Murray-Darling system, they had a strong presence in the slope and upland reaches of many Murray-Darling rivers as well. In particular, they had a strong presence in upland reaches of the Murrumbidgee River and were found as far upstream as Cooma.

As as the early 1980s, long summer migrations into the upland reaches of the Murrumbidgee were an annual event. These migrations, these populations, have now collapsed — silver perch are functionally extinct in the Murrumbidgee River now, as in most parts of their former range. Silver perch have been introduced into the Lake Eyre Basin in arid central Australia; these releases were not sanctioned and pose serious hybridisation risks to related species of terapontids endemic to the Lake Eyre system. A translocated and reproducing population of silver perch exists in Cataract Dam on the Hawkesbury-Nepean system; this population was established by NSW Fisheries translocations of juvenile fish from drying billabongs in the lower Murrumbidgee River in 1915–17. The Cataract Dam population is unique in being the only population of silver perch in an artificial impoundment that and recruits and is self-sustaining; the long established prohibition on fishing, the consequent absence of exotic fish and their diseases, the pristine nature of the dam, including an abundance of coarse rubble and gravel in many inshore areas where fertilised eggs can settle and not be smothered by silt, are all contributors to this unique situation.

Fishermen caught silver perch on unweighted baits such as worms and on small spinning-blade lures in rapids during migrations into upland rivers, as well as flowing and moving waters more generally. They were renowned for being fast and strong fighting fish; the rod is … used amongst the bream which run up to six pounds, fight every inch of their way from the time they are struck till they are safely landed. … It is as easy to land a fifteen pound cod as it is a five pound bream, as the latter is notoriously the hardest fighter in our rivers, only being nearly approached by the catfish. Male silver perch reach sexual maturity at three years of age. Female silver perch reach full sexual maturity at five years of age. Silver perch spawn in early summer. Water temperatures of close to 24 degrees Celsius were considered necessary for spawning to occur but as with all Murray-Darling fish species it has become apparent that the "required" spawning temperature is flexible and that they can and do spawn at lower temperatures.

Researchers in the Barmah Forest region of the Murray River have collected drifting fertilised silver perch eggs in water temperatures as low as 17.2 degrees and as high as 28.5 degrees C, between early November and mid-February. Eggs were collected in water temperatures above 20 degrees. Silver perch are moderately fecund, with egg counts around 200,000 to 300,000. Spawning occurs at the first few hours of night; the female sheds the male fertilizes them in a few seconds of vigorous thrashing. The eggs are semi-buoyant and will sink without significant current, take 24 to 36 hours to hatch. A 1914 account of silver perch spawning in the wild in the Murrumbidgee River states: The observer of a shoal engaged in distributing ova says: “Between 50 and 70 silver perch were playing—some feeding at the surface and others swimming about aimlessly—in a series of eddies under a precipitous bank of the Murrumbidgee River, at a spot where the water was 10 or 12 foot deep. A sec

The Lost Future

The Lost Future is a 2010 South African-German post-apocalyptic film from Syfy, directed by Mikael Salomon and written by Jonas Bauer. The film stars Corey Sevier and Sam Claflin, it was released on DVD on 27 September 2011. In post-apocalyptic Colombia, a group of survivors are organised as a tribe, a primitive society without technology, they form a small village in the Grey Rock National Park surrounded by beasts that transmit a disease that transforms the victims into mutants. The tribal leader is Uri, whose son Savan is the best hunter of the tribe and his father's successor. Kaleb is the best tracker. Kaleb and his sister Miru are the only literate survivors, their father Jaret believes other survivors might exist outside the park and encourages them to investigate this. Kaleb, a dreamer, is secretly in love with Dorel; when the beasts attack Uri's hamlet, a group blocks the entrance with logs. Kaleb saves Dorel from a beast, at which point they become romantically involved while Savan looks on.

Out of the blue, the stranger Amal approaches the trio and invites them to join his family, composed of his wife Neenah and their son Persk, who live in the outskirts of Grey Rock protected by a river. Soon Amal discloses to them that Jaret had found the formula of a yellow powder that cures the sick people. However, the ruthless Gagen kept it with him. Amal, Savan and Dorel travel together to find Gagen and bring the yellow powder to their tribe. However, Amal is wounded and the other three continue on their quest to find the yellow powder and return it rightfully to their village. During this perilous attempt, Savan is killed by an enraged Gagen, killed by Kaleb. Sam Claflin as Kaleb Eleanor Tomlinson as Miru Sean Bean as Amal Corey Sevier as Savan Annabelle Wallis as Dorel Jessica Haines as Neenah Hannah Tointon as Giselle Jonathan Pienaar as Gagen Danny Keogh as Yisir Garth Breytenbach as Remi Bjorn Steinbach as Yomack Sam Schein as Persk The Lost Future was filmed in and around Cape Town, South Africa.

The Lost Future premiered on Syfy 13 November 2010 and was released on DVD on 27 September 2011 by Entertainment One. It includes cast and crew interviews. There was controversy over the rating of the film. Scott Foy of Dread Central rated the film 2/5 stars and wrote that "this was a classier piece of cinema than the typical schlock Syfy produces", but it is too rushed, has too many characters and dangling storylines, the action sequences can not make up for the shortcomings. Rod Lott of the Oklahoma Gazette wrote that the film "should be'Lost' forever" and concluded, "Yeah, I hated it." The Daily Sun wrote that the acting and special effects were good, but the cast were too clean and pretty to be convincing. The Lost Future on IMDb The Lost Future at Rotten Tomatoes